There may not be a more dreaded phrase in the English language than “root canal.” Many patients associate the painful toothache that precedes root canal therapy with the procedure itself, but we have some good news for you. Despite their bad reputation, root canals actually relieve painful toothaches and dental sensitivity. A root canal is necessary when damage or decay reaches the inner portion of the tooth, known as the pulp. The entire nerve structure of the tooth is housed within the pulp, so when damage occurs here, it directly stimulates the nerve causing significant discomfort. Contact our team if you experience any of the common warning signs of root canal damage, including:
- Severe toothache – this may be a constant throbbing pain or a shooting pain when the tooth is touched
- Sensitivity – this side effect usually presents as lingering discomfort when hot or cold foods and beverages touch the tooth
- Discoloration – the tooth may darken near the root due to the interior decay
What is a Root Canal?
Root canal therapy is the careful removal of the pulp and nerve tissue. It is completed by creating a small access hole to the center of the tooth. We can then extract the pulp, nerve, and any damaged dental structure through the hole using a series of progressively larger files. Once this tissue is removed and the inside of the tooth is decontaminated, we’ll refill it with a biologically similar substance called gutta percha. Once the tooth is filled, we’ll seal the access hole. Then, we will usually place a dental crown to strengthen and protect the treated tooth.